FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Xin Lin Wang
NATIONAL AAPI ORGANIZATION LAUNCHES APP TO MAKE VOTING MORE ACCESSIBLE FOR IMMIGRANT VOTERS
18MillionRising.org’s VoterVOX app combines civic technology with a network of multilingual volunteers to bridge the language access gap
Oakland, CA (September 27, 2016) — Today, the national Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) online advocacy organization 18MillionRising.org launched VoterVOX, a web-based app created to bridge the language access gap, a key barrier which prevents millions of AAPI voters from excercising their right to vote.
VoterVOX is a tool that connects multilingual AAPI volunteers with limited English proficient registered voters so that every eligible voter gets access to a ballot and voting information in their native language.
Today, there are more than 20 million Asian Americans living in cities and states all across the US, speaking more than 100 distinct languages and dialects, yet only a small percentage of the Asian American electorate (a total of 43 Asian American populations scattered throughout eleven states, with the vast majority in California) has access to translated election materials and ballots through the language access provisions of the Voting Rights Act. Two-thirds of the AAPI electorate are immigrants, and AAPI voters are three times more likely than Latinos to report that language barriers prevented them from voting. According to National Asian American Survey data, 77 percent of those voters say they would use in-language tools, if they could get them, when they register to vote or cast a ballot.
“Our goal is to make our democracy accessible to every voter, in every language. There is a critical translation need that isn’t being met by our current institutions and infrastructure, and too many Asian American immigrant voters are in essence being disenfranchised. VoterVOX helps ensure that everyone who wants to vote has the ability to cast a ballot,” said Cayden Mak, Executive Director at 18MillionRising.org.
Community-based organizations who partner with 18MillionRising.org will use VoterVOX this election cycle to reach limited English speakers where they already spend time — places like libraries, grocery stores, and community centers — and help them sign up for in-person translation. Currently, groups in California and Minnesota have signed up as community partners.
Link to VoterVOX FAQ: http://bit.ly/2dnGmtQ
Link to downloadable logos and graphics: http://bit.ly/2cRjiCT
About 18MR.org: 18MR.org was founded to promote AAPI civic engagement, influence, and movement by leveraging the power of technology and social media. For the past four years, we’ve convened a network of creative, tech-savvy, and passionate individuals and organizations working in and with AAPI communities in every U.S. state and territory. Our vision of engaged AAPI communities begins with, but doesn’t end with, the ballot box: it also includes year-round civic activity locally and nationally, holding corporations accountable, building interracial coalitions, and developing our shared identities. We believe 21st century community power can be built through smart tech and good organizing, and our campaign wins and vision are testament to how we can bring them together to advance rights and justice in our communities, in our country, in our nations of origins, and beyond. Learn more about 18MR.org by visiting us on the web at 18millionrising.org.